The high court of Bombay at Goa on Monday granted ten weeks time to Mormugao Municipal Council (MMC) to complete the process of identifying the alleged illegal structures at Desterro, Baina and Katem Baina in Vasco.
The court passed the order on an application made by the MMC seeking eight weeks to complete the exercise. Earlier, on December 13, 2010, MMC had given an assurance to the court that it would identify the structures by February 15, 2011. As the MMC failed to adhere to the deadline, it filed an application seeking more time.
During the hearing of the application on Monday, MMC’s advocate S D Padiyar told the court that the process had been initiated but it could not be completed due to shortage of technical staff. Padiyar pointed out to the court that the owners of the houses claim that the structures have been in existence before Liberation. Hence, verification of their claims is time consuming, he added.
While disposing the application, a division bench comprising Justice D B Deshmukh and Justice F M Reis granted MMC ten weeks time to complete the process.
Mormugao Port Trust (MPT) had filed a petition seeking directions to the MMC to identify and take action against the illegal structures. The petitioner had claimed that structures were constructed along the Zuari river within MMC jurisdiction, without obtaining permissions under the Goa Municipalities Act, 1968. According to MPT, MMC had failed to act against these structures erected in violation of the CRZ Notifications, 1991, and the Environment Protection Act, 1986.